The Auburn Citizen|November 19, 2015|Jordyn Reiland
A statewide education group stopped in Auburn Wednesday as part of its three-stop bus tour of expanded learning sites across the state.
The New York State Learning Community on Expanding Learning through School-Community Partnerships, toured Auburn High School, Binghamton High School and H.W. Smith Elementary in Syracuse, to highlight the opportunities offered to students in these programs.
While in Auburn, the group toured the mobile dental clinic and learned about school-based counseling, free mental health screenings, after-school programs and school resource officer program — all provided through a Community School grant the district received.
The group consisted of representatives from the New York State Council of School Superintendents, New York State School Boards’ Association, New York State United Teachers, United Federation of Teachers and the Alliance for Quality Education.
Five schools in the Auburn Enlarged City School District were recipients of the Community Schools grant and received $2.5 million over the next three years. Herman Avenue, Genesee and Seward Elementary schools along with Auburn Junior High School and Auburn High School were among the five recipients.
Camille Johnson, assistant superintendent for student services, said the after school programs are just one way to keep students active and learning. Some of the after school activities include building robots, cooking lessons, arts and crafts among other activities.
“We’re engaging them secretly,” Johnson said.
The program also includes a free dinner and snack, Johnson said.
The trip was part of a series of learning community meetings that have been hosted over the last year with several officials, including the State Education Department and the Office of Children and Family Services. The group has examined these partnerships and hopes to make recommendations on furthering and expanding these types of partnerships to the state next spring.
The mobile dental clinic, which makes its way through the five school buildings and is currently at the high school, will start its screenings next week. The clinic is expected to screen more than 80 students, when last year they only saw six.
Johnson said the program has grown tremendously in the high school over the last year and attributed it to the fact that they handed out the paperwork on the first day of school, something they did not previously do.